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James Karpac Orthodontics

Why Some People Experience Swollen Gums With Braces, And How To Fix It

Swollen gums are unfortunately common with braces patients, and the JK Orthodontics team is here to help you fix this type of situation for good!

adult orthodontic treatment is more popular at James Karpac Orthodontics via our ceramic braces


If you or your child are undergoing braces treatment and notice red, swollen, inflamed gums, then you’re likely wondering if this is par for the course or a more concerning sign associated with an oral health issue that should be addressed.

The JK Orthodontics team is here to help provide you with some peace of mind so that you know what’s normal and what isn’t; and below we’ll cover the causes of swollen gums with braces and how to deal with irritated gums!


Why Do People Sometimes Get Swollen, Irritated Gums With Braces?


There’s a whole array of reasons why someone’s gums may become irritated during braces treatment, including the following:


Lack Of Stimulation


When someone is wearing braces, they don’t get the same type of natural stimulation that they would obtain while eating without braces. This is because your wires and brackets will effectively stop food from getting near your gums, so if you’re not stimulating your teeth with your toothbrush at least twice a day during orthodontic treatment then the lack of stimulation can cause gum swelling.

The best way to prevent this issue is to always focus on gently massaging your gums while brushing your teeth.


Braces Irritation


Your braces hardware can sometimes irritate your gums and cheeks, and this is mainly because your mouth simply isn’t used to having braces during the initial treatment stages. These soft tissues will toughen up within a couple of weeks once you’ve become acclimated to your orthodontic appliance, so if your swollen gums dissipate during a short period of time then it’s an indication that you’re not experiencing a serious issue.


Food Particles Stuck Within Your Braces


It’s possible that your wires and brackets will trap small pieces of food within them, and when this food gets stuck underneath the gumline it can lead to inflamed and swollen gums. This type of irritation and swelling should subside once the food has been successfully dislodged.


Gum Disease


Braces will inevitably give plaque and bacteria more hiding places within a patient’s mouth, which is why it’s so crucial to be consistent with your oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment. Poor oral hygiene can lead to increased chances of gum disease, which is a consistent inflammation/infection around your gums.

Gingivitis is an oral health condition that refers to early stage gum disease, and the good news about gingivitis is that it can be reversed with proper homecare and treatment. Some common causes of gingivitis include poor oral hygiene, diabetes, pregnancy hormones, tobacco use, missing fillings, broken restorations and other particular medications.

Some of the gum disease warning signs that braces patients and parents should be on the lookout for include consistently inflamed gums and bleeding gums while flossing or brushing. Loose teeth and bad breath are also common early warning signs of gum disease.


Gingival Enlargement


Gingival enlargement refers to a rare situation in which an individual suddenly experiences an abnormal growth of gum tissue. This condition can be caused by genetics, particular medical conditions and medications. Sometimes braces can initiate this type of abnormal gum growth, and Dr. Karpac and our associate dental partners will support you or your child when we suspect that your orthodontic treatment is causing gingival enlargement.


How Braces Patients Can Get Rid Of Swollen Gums


There are a number of ways in which braces patients can combat acute irritation and inflammation in their gums, including:


  • Gently massaging the inflamed gum tissue while brushing, and focusing upon the border where your teeth meet your gums. Try to keep the middle of your toothbrush bristles on this borderline as much as possible while massaging your gums, and be consistent with this technique.


  • Gently floss prior to brushing your teeth. If there are food particles stuck within your teeth, then flossing will be your best way to free this irritating debris.


  • Use a saltwater rinse with warm water and a ½ teaspoon of salt. Swish this solution in your mouth several times a day until you start to see improvements with your inflammation.


  • Use orthodontic relief wax when your braces are irritating your tongue, lips or gums.


  • Reach out to Dr. Karpac about our recommended mouthwashes that help fight plaque and alleviate all sorts of discomfort. There are many mouthwash options on the market that will help you eliminate irritation, infection and overall oral pain.


  • Consider taking a normal over-the-counter pain reliever if needed.


Reach Out To The JK Orthodontics Team To Learn More About Alleviating Swollen Gums With Braces!


All of us at JK Orthodontics want our patients to feel as comfortable as possible during the entirety of their orthodontic treatment processes, and many times we’ll recommend a WaterPik or interdental brush to help braces patients reduce their overall risks of experiencing swollen gums.

We’re here to help both patients and parents better understand the best ways to avoid and treat swollen gums, so always feel free to reach out to us online or call us at 614-766-0330 (Dublin office) or 614-471-6355 (Gahanna office) to get in touch with our treatment experts today!